how to earn respect from someone

In life, we go through many teachers and lessons. One of my favorite rules and lessons I was taught was the golden rule: treat everyone how you would want to be treated. I really live by that. Even when people say nasty things or are unkind, I try to never lose respect towards anyone. Especially not in a public place or in front of my parents.

Although recently I got into an argument with a gentleman much older than I am. It sounds bad but I promise I didn't start the argument. The whole fight was over a seat which I was sitting in and had been in since the beginning of the event we were at. The older man had gotten upset over the fact that he could not find a seat since he had arrived at the event late. Anyway, it ended up with both of us yelling at each other back and forth until I gave him a hair flip and ignored him. What got to me was that during the argument he said, "I am older than you, therefore you HAVE to respect me."

That annoyed me because the whole time, I didn't lose respect towards him. Sure I may have yelled a little louder than I should have, but not once did I say a bad word towards him or anything. Meanwhile, he did. I was just annoyed that he basically wanted me to move just because I was younger and in the process wanted me to respect him.

No. That is not how respect works. It should not matter if you are 5 years old or 105. Sometimes it seems like the older people get, the more they automatically assume that everything should just be handed to them because they are older. The rule is if you want respect, you show respect. So I spoke my mind to the elderly gentleman and told him, "Why should I respect you if you are not respecting me?"

I normally don't speak my mind and normally would not have even payed this guy any attention, but it seems like lately young people are on the bottom of every situation and that is just not fair. Just because we are young does not mean we don't deserve respect as well. I believe we have to start standing up more to people like this and speak up when we are no ok with something that is going on. And for everyone else reading this, respect each other if you would like the same respect back.

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